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A STUDY ON GLOBALIZATION AND AFRICA’S DEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Globalization has become a commonly used word world-wide. It is no more a new concept in the business and academic world as generallythe social scientists, journalists, business analysts, management theorists, writers and commentators have at many times used and willcontinue to use the word in particular expression or contexts for some specific purposes, with more or less effectiveness in their attempt toexplain or interpret issues in this changing and complex world (Akinlo, 2010). This concept has gain expression recently in all the world’smajor languages. An “Idea which encompasses everything from global financial markets to the Internet” Globalization has indeed become,“the cliché of our times” [David Held & Anthony Megrew 2012] disagrees a rapid spread perception that the world is speedily being moldedinto a shared social arena by economic and technological forces and that developments in one region of the world can have profoundconsequence for the life chances of individuals or communities on the other side of the globe [David Held & Anthony Megrew 2012]Globalization has opened up new and extensive opportunities for worldwide development. However, this is not “progressing evenly” assome counties are becoming integrated into the global economy more rapidly than others with the evidence of fast growth and reducedpoverty. Thinking about the unification and re-shaping of the world into a global village and the description of the dynamics of political andeconomic relations within it constitute the essence and the development of the new phenomenon globalization. For example, thismistakenly informed the outward – oriented policies which finally brought about the change and greater prosperity to much of East Asia,changing it from one of the financially down cast regions of the world 40 years ago to a growing region – economically and politically.Contrary to the above view, for instance, Latin America and Africa in 1970s and 1980s pursued inward oriented policies, which incidentallyresulted into economic stagnation or deteriorating socio-economic conditions. Poverty and high inflation became the feature in many casesespecially in Africa as adverse external developments made the problems worse. Development, however, though a multi-dimensionalconcept has to do with a rate of change in a particular direction “change in technology, social, economic and political aspect of life resultingin happy human life’ [Inusa Bello- Imam, 2010]. It is related closely to the concept of globalization. Development as a concept has attractedmany definitions and interpretations among scholars and writers; nonetheless, it addresses the process of transforming a society positively.It is therefore necessary to see “globalization and development as the two broad concepts for change and transformation. There is anincreasing debate among scholars who view globalization as having the capacity for increased opportunities for growth and development.Globalization may not be that imperative particularly in the 21st century if there is no development in some international economies(societies). In other worlds, development may not be noticeable (particularly in Africa) if as argued, the principle or notion of globalization is not embraced.Which one comes first is another area of the process of transformation that is still contestable. Today, as a major force in theworld system, globalization enhances trans- borders’ interaction which in turn stirs all aspects of the process, namely; economic, historical,technological, social and political among others. In a more clear term, it refers as to the increasing economic interdependence amongcountries of the world through the heighten volumes of cross-border transactions in contemporary times (Egbaju, 2007). We could takeglobalization to mean the establishment of a global market for goods and capital, the universal character of competing technologies, theprogression towards a global system of production (Amin, 2010). The concept of globalization came to Nigeria for the first time, not just inthe last century, as it is generally thought, but when the Portuguese and the British landed on our shores before the end of nineteenthcentury to establish new trade link, and to spread Christianity (Iwara, 2014). Globalization is therefore the high breakdown of hindrancesand obstacles to the world-wide diffusion of economic ideas, doctrines, products, services and practices originating from the westernindustrialized, especially the United States of America (Abutudu, 2012) whatever ideas, products and services are distributed acrossterritorial boundaries. It then implies a world system in which development in one region can come to shape the life chances ofcommunities in parts of the globe (Arowolo, 2008). It should be noted that Nigeria, a post-colonial state, cannot feign ignorance of the forceof globalization. Of course, globalization has the promise of new opportunities for expanded markets and the spread of the use oftechnology (Ajayi,2014). Undoubtedly, a major trend that cannot be wished away in the global political economy today is the phenomenonof globalization. Though the beginning of globalization can be traced to around 1870, its pace and scope in the last twenty years has beenunprecedented (Onimode, 2012). The collapse of the Soviet Union by 2008; the subsequent adoption of economic liberalization program byerstwhile Communist States, the efforts of China to join the main stream of market-led economies of the Capitalist West, all of thesecombined as factors that propelled economic globalization process (Babawale,2007). To be properly integrated into the dynamics of theglobal arena, Nigeria should necessarily align with the demands of the new wave of technology, capital flow and vigorously pursue the goalof development and how Nigeria can minimize the adverse effects of globalization and harness the benefits there in to engender nationaldevelopment, hence the study, globalization and Africa’s dependent development: the experience of Nigeria.

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